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No 226 December 1966 The Belfry Bulletin – Volume Twenty – Number Twelve Christmas B.B. Once again, the time has come round for a B.B. somewhat larger than usual. The Editor’s spy system – and no self respecting editor of a caving club magazine would be without some method of gauging opinion – tells him that the production of the large Christmas B.B. has its detractors as well as its adherents. It suggests that the editor may be rather too obsessed with breaking a record for size, to the extent of withholding topical articles to help pad it out. Admittedly, the idea of record breaking does provide a welcome incentive for extra exertion in what can sometimes degenerate into a repetitive and demanding job – you do need a certain amount of mental stamina to produce a monthly magazine month after month after month, and it is the Editor’s hope that this B.B. may be the biggest ever. The idea of a large magazine once a year is to help keep those club members happy who bewail the small size of the B.B. and wish it was thick as the W****x J*****l – even if it did not appear so often. On the other hand, many other members of the club rate the monthly appearance of the B.B. as one of its most important features. The questionnaire on the B.B. conducted a year ago gave this answer strongly. The Editor himself feels that club journals – like clubs – should be different. Otherwise, we might as well all belong to the same club; the B.E.C. of course! With the technical reasons why it is not always possible to include all material as soon as it comes in, we will not bore you but we would ask authors who feel that the impact of their work will be lost if not published at once to write NEXT B.B. at the top of the article and we will treat this wherever possible as a matter of priority. Perhaps we could take this system a stage further. If you have a lengthy article which you do not wish to split and appear in serial form in two issues, please write SAME ISSUE in some prominent position. Sometimes an article is just too long and a little précising is carried out to make it fit. If this is objected to by the author, please write DO NOT PRECIS and your instructions will be complied with. If you write any two, or all three instructions on your article, you must realise that you will be setting the Editor a difficult job which may prove impossible, so please use these instructions with some restraint. The B.B. is the club Magazine, not a one man band, and the Editor exists to serve the club. We hope that these instructions may help to reduce any slight misunderstandings and take this opportunity to wish all club members; all readers, and all cavers everywhere….

A Very Happy Christmas ______________________________________________________________________________________


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Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/2

CLUB TRIP TO SOUTH WAL ES ….by C.J. Priddle Norman Petty, Terry Taylor and I left Bristol at 9.30am on Saturday and drove through fog over the Severn Bridge top the S.W.C.C. headquarters. We found that the arranged O.F.D. leader had left the cottages half an hour previously, so with no prospects of O.F.D. that day, we left for the Gwyn Arms and later on in the afternoon went for a drive to Carmarthen and Llanelly. En route we stopped at Kidwelly Castle and spent one shilling and a pleasant hour climbing towers, running round battlements and exploring the darkest rooms. Then we had a meal at the S.W.C.C. cottage and visited the pub again. The next day, I was lucky enough to secure a trip to D.Y.O. new extensions. Unfortunately, Norman and Terry were unable to go on the trip, as it was wet suits and Nife’s only. I started with a party of six to photograph D.Y.O. Three (found two weeks previously) being led by Alan Coase, but just past the lakes one of the party fell badly, and he reluctantly decided to return with his friend. A photographic trip was out of the question because of the amount of equipment to be carried, so we proceeded through the Endless Crawl, which is very sporting when carrying tackle. Then down a short pitch and “Welcome D.Y.O. Two!” From the pitch (Gerard Platten Hall) to the Green Canal, we walked through the most impressive chambers and passages. They were impressive both in size and the amount of formation – which consisted mainly of a fantastic number of straws, most of which were over six feet long while the largest was twelve feet long! Helictites were also most abundant and a small green stalagmite was seen – much to Alan’s surprise. The Green Canal was boated by two with tackle, whilst the others swam. It is far easier to swim, as the canal – although two hundred feet long – is quite tight for a dinghy, and some of the bends rather sharp for easy manoeuvring. We then proceeded through Rottenstone Aven to High Way, where a climb to where D.Y.O. Three starts. This consisted of a twenty five foot pitch and then a free climb for sixty feet to a small passage which contained some fine crystals at least an inch and a half long. After crawling upwards through this passage, we came to a drop which could be traversed by rope. This brought us into a horizontal passage containing the most awe inspiring helictites I have ever seen. Some were three feet long (un-straightened). A short distance up the passage brought us to the pitch into D.Y.O. Three, but as time was short we hurried back along the same route, stopping only to look at Hanger Passage and Flabbergasm Chasm, which certainly lived up to its name. Total time for this trip was six hours, but eight to twelve hours is really needed to photograph and to go the extra mile to the end of the cave. Whilst I was caving, Norman went walking and found Pant Mawr Pot, which he says he is sure of finding again. One complaint to be made. The last two trips to South Wales have been supported by three club members. This not only lets down the members turning up, but also lets down the B.E.C. I think we can do better then this on future trips. _______________________________________________________________________________________ Fragment (Sent in by older member) “Some people complain that there are people who do nothing but sit around the stove talking about what it used to be like in the Good Old Days. We used not to do that.”


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Cuthberts Rescue …by Keith Franklin A party of six from The Pegasus Club were taken down St. Cuthbert’s on the 20th August by Phil Kingston and Keith Franklin. The cave was entered at approximately mid-day, the route having been decided as Pulpit – Bypass – September – Catgut – Duck and out. After looking at September Series, it was decided to visit Cone Chamber on the way out. It was during this part of the trip that Barry of Pegasus fell about four feet dislocating his shoulder in the process. Later discussion determined that his hand hold had come away and probably fallen on him, thus causing the dislocation. Phil left, with another member of the party for the surface when the full extent of the injury had been ascertained, and gave the call-out at the Hunters at approximately 2.30pm. The M.R.O. were alerted and a doctor sent for. Meanwhile the injured person was now in a more comfortable spot, but it soon became apparent that for his well being, an attempt should be made to get him out of the cave, hoping to meet the doctor of the way in. It says much for Barry’s mental and physical powers that he had got as far as the ‘S’ bend in the ruckle before meeting up again with Phil, who had come back with carrying sheet in case it was needed. The telephone party were contacted in High Chamber and after finding that the doctor had not yet entered the cave, it was decided to keep moving. The Old Route out was selected as the most suitable way out. Fairly rapid progress was made, with Barry being able to help himself, until Pillar Chamber was reached where the party was strengthen by three who brought ropes for the pitches. Dr. O.C. Lloyd joined the rescue in Upper Mud Hall and made two attempts to reduce the dislocation. These apparently failed, but on moving off again and climbing the ladder out of Mud Hall Barry felt his shoulder go back in. Besides giving a psychological boost it also gave Barry more manoeuvrability, as he had previously been restricted to a half stooping position – being the one which gave him the least pain. The rest of the trip out was fairly uneventful. Barry climbed the entrance pitch mainly unaided using his legs only through two loops of rope for support, and reached the surface at 6.40pm. He was taken to hospital by car and was discharged the same evening. The lessons learned form this rescue are difficult to say. The surface organisation was left mainly to the B.E.C. and it functioned most efficiently (although one party was kept on standby for far too long at Young’s farm for which I make an apology). All decisions that had to be made underground proved effective and all things considered, the rescue proceeded satisfactorily. As was shown in the Stafford rescue so much depends on the victim. Barry, being a very experienced caver, is also a leading member of the Derbyshire C.R.O. and undoubtedly his physical condition, and even more his mental attitude contributed much to the success of the rescue. There are factors which can only be assessed at the time, but these are the ones that play the most important part in a rescue of this type (i.e. where the victim is mobile and is able to help himself to some extent). P.S. The fixed tackle on the Old Route was essential to the success of this rescue! P.P.S. Place no trust at all on any hand or foothold in September series! _______________________________________________________________________________________

Notice We have received a request from the U.B.S.S. to publicise their rule that NO CARBIDE LAMPS ARE PERMITTED IN THE LADDER DIG EXTENSION IN G.B. PLEASE NOTE!!!!!

_______________________________________________________________________________________


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Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/4

Caving in Southern Germany …by Kevin J. Barnes Fortune, together with a German cave guide book, took myself and a party of seven to the area of the German Alps. The caves actually explored were Mordloch; Bauerloch; Falkensteiner Hohle; Tieffenhohle and Nebelhohle. The latter two were show caves but permission to explore was granted and ten metres, consisting of an ascending tight mud shaft, were added to Nebelhohle. The two most interesting caves, Mordloch and Falenseteiner Hohle, I will deal with. Mordloch (2,500m). Nearest village Eibach. A party of six entered the resurgence entrance. The passage was four feet wide and seven feet high. Gradually the icy cold water came higher and reached our waists. The stream passage was followed for 80 metres until we came to a sump chamber. The sump consisted of three ducks and then a major sump. I went through the ducks – minus wet suit – and arrived at the sump. Finding no definite way on. I dived for about a meter, but I could find no more air pockets. The water was icy cold and I began to get a splitting headache. Coming back to the chamber, a route over the sump was tried but proved not feasible due to slippery mud on smooth rock. Retreating down the streamway, a route on the right was found high in the roof about twenty metres from the entrance. This was climbed and after a short traverse was made, we dropped into a tributary stream flowing in the opposite direction (i.e. away from the entrance). A tight crawl in the stream followed and after much crawling and twisting we left the stream and ascended a mud passage. A drop of ten feet into a chamber came next and was again followed by more mud crawls. Eventually, we reached a dig and it was there the party decided to retire. The trip in all took two hours and thus did not cover the entire known length of the cave. Falkensteiner Hohle. (3,000m). Nearest town, Urach. The entrance is really impressive – a huge limestone rift with the darkness of the cave opening inviting exploration. The entrance was dry, but after a hundred metres the streamway was found. The water varied in depth from ankle to neck. The stream passage was narrow enough to allow traversing in places above the water. At one point, however, a bend in the stream had to be negotiated and this resulted in one of the party taking a ducking. After four hundred and sixty metres in half an hour from the entrance, a duck was found. It was beyond this point that a group of students was trapped for sixty and a half hours. A rope was secured through the duck and the party went through. The duck was about twenty feet long with about four inches of airspace. Again the stream passage was followed, and an ascending ladder found. This brought us to a chamber which we crossed and then descended another ladder back to the stream. We went on and on through streamway and boulder chamber until we came to a series of steep mud banks with steps cut in them. Negotiating these, we came to a high rift descending again to the stream. Going down this, the stream disappeared in a boulder maze. We had taken three and a half hours and most of the party were suffering from exposure with one person in a dodgy state. I should judge that we covered about two and a half kilometres. We retreated fast, getting out in an hour and a half. The worst case was put inside several sleeping bags, and he proved to be all right in the morning. The rest of the party were well enough to visit the local gastsatte. This area has vast possibilities for exploration and the number of springs, sinks, and caves which we saw but had no time to visit were innumerable. _______________________________________________________________________________________


By special arrangement, the Belfry will be CLOSED to all except those taking part in the CUTHBERT’S DIVING OPERATION in which it is hoped to force the sump, over the weekend FEBRUARY 4/5 1967. PLEASE NOTE!!!!!!!! Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/5 Page 58

L

E T

T

E

R S

While we should not like to see the B.B. become full of nothing but “stirring” (no caving publication that we know of descends to this level) we must admit that we hoped someone might reply to our recent contributor ‘St’ Cuthbert’. It is encouraging to see people springing to the defence of the club and proving that we are not the apathetic lot we are sometimes thought to be! 1935243 Jnr. Tech. Rushton. Mech. Eng. (A/C) Sqn. Royal Air Force, Wittering, Peterborough. To the Editor, Belfry Bulletin. Dear Sir, In reply to St. Cuthbert’s letter printed in October’s B.B. On the complaint that members of the B.E.C. were a trifle late in arriving for the A.G.M., this is surely a B.E.C. tradition – to be late (except for opening time) on principle that “we are the B.E.C.” St. Cuthbert then goes on to condemn the one or two members who were in high spirits. Well! The only thing that can be added to this is that if St. Cuthbert finds this objectionable I suggest that he (she?) finds another club. I’m sure S.V.C.C. would welcome him/her. If St. Cuthbert wishes to be elected to the committee I suggest that he divulges his real name – or maybe that wailing and bemoaning of his loss to the committee is just sour grapes? The purpose of the Belfry - whether or not it encourages festering – is to be the B.E.C. Mendip’s Headquarters and also to provide a service to members who wish to devote the whole of the weekend to caving and other B.E.C. activities which shall remain unsaid. Many members, including myself, travel well over 160 miles to cave on Mendip and require a more civilised place to stay than Maine’s Barn. It must also be remembered that the club forms a place for cavers to gather; sit and talk (fester?) on caving and other subjects. The Belfry, believe it or not, has quite a high standard of conversation. St. Cuthbert should listen some time and he might find out what the B.E.C. is all about. Agreed the changing accommodation could be better, but until plans for the new shiny Belfry are completed, the Belfry as it stands is more than adequate. Most clubs don’t even have the comparative comfort of the Belfry, so consider yourself very lucky, St. Cuthbert, with what you have got. Washing! While caving! – almost blasphemy! Yours sincerely A. Rushton. ….and while we imagine St. Cuthbert is still recovering from that one, here is another….. To the Hon. Editor, Belfry Bulletin. Dear Sir,


I am afraid I am unable to make up my mind about your introductory note to the latest “St. Cuthbert’s letter. Is venerable quite the right word? I could think of other words more suitable. Page 59 Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/6 Judging by the contents of his latest ‘gem’ he must have been in the same state as his victim at the A.G.M., when he wrote it. The fact that he was not nominated for the Long Term Planning Committee seems to me to prove his statement concerning unknown people being nominated quite incorrect. (Who is St. Cuthbert?). It is very gratifying to know that everyone has a car these days, but I do wish that he could explain to me why it is that so many of the younger visitors to the Belfry almost form a queue for lifts back to Bristol - or beyond – on a Sunday evening, and also why it is that one can often start from Hillgrove with an empty car and arrive at the Belfry with the thing positively bulging with people and their gear. Perhaps the answer is that he does not visit Mendip often – or regularly enough to be aware of the situation. I am glad he wants first class changing and washing facilities. So do a lot of us. This is where he could, perhaps, start the ball rolling by offering to help in a practical way. We already have a club where members can, and do so, meet and talk. It is called the Belfry. If St. Cuthbert was a regular, he would know that late night talking is discouraged by the Hut Warden, as it is festering. There is plenty of work to do around the Belfry site for those who do not want to go caving, and I am sure the Hut Engineer will soon find a job for anyone if they sit around too long. In closing, I would like to put one serious question to St. Cuthbert. Why hide your identity behind the name of the most beautiful cave on Mendip? Is it because you are ashamed of some of the nonsense you put on paper Yours sincerely Gordon Tilly Editor’s Note:

We think that “St. Cuthbert” has been adequately answered by theses two letters. He is, of course, entitled to reply if he so wishes. We note that neither of the correspondents suggested that St. Cuthbert shut up altogether, so we may well hear more form him from time to time. On the more general topic of anonymity in the B.B. the rules are adopted are that correspondent’s name is known to the Editor, and that writing under a nome de plume is fair enough if the writer feels freer to express opinions as a result. If any readers have other views on thus subject, we shall be pleased to hear from them.

T h e V a r i a t i o n of T e m p e r a t u r e and H a r d n e s s o f S t r e a m s i n S t. C u thberts Swallet ….A progress report, by R.D. Stenner…. 1. Introduction. A B.E.C. Caving Report with a more detailed account of this and other related work done in the cave is due to be published in two year’s time. In the meantime, it has been thought desirable to make this preliminary report available to others engaged in similar work. Additional information may be obtained by writing to the author.


Work on measuring water temperatures in the cave was started by D.A. Coase; N. Petty and P. Burt in 1957 and came to a standstill with Don’s death in 1958. Their work was published in B.B. Numbers 118 to 122. The work now in progress began in August 1965 as a survey of the temperature variations in the small inlets streams in the system. Some streams were 2oC colder than expected and chemical analysis of water samples was considered as a means of throwing more light on the problem. Chemical analysis of samples began in February 1966. As the preliminary work progresses, many subsidiary problems presented themselves. They will be mentioned later. Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/7 Page 60 2. The Measurement of Water Temperatures. Thermometers calibrated to 0.1oC were chosen and checked. The following points became clear. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Don Coase’s scheme of work was oversimplified. A party of two is ideal, working upstream. To cover the system adequately in a short time, more than one party will be needed. A carbide lamp one foot from a small stream will raise its temperature half a degree in ten seconds. As a thermometer must be read while its bulb is immersed, this often means getting very wet. Without an exposure suit, the time that can be spent on the work is limited.

3. Chemical Analysis of Water Samples. Collecting Samples. Transporting large numbers of sample bottles is not easy, so sampling trips should be planned carefully. Pint bottles made of polythene should be cleaned thoroughly and numbered. They should be rinsed with water being sampled and then filled completely. As with temperature work, move upstream. Other people in the cave give rise to false results. Collecting water samples can be combined with measuring water temperatures. The Scheme of Work. Water in caves will contain calcium, magnesium and many other metals in very small concentrations, carbonate/bicarbonate, chloride, sulphate, a little phosphate and silicate and dissolved gasses, of which cardon dioxide is very important. Several of the constituents are quite easy to measure; others involve very time consuming procedures. A scheme of work was designed for speed of work and economy of use of the sample. pH is measured as soon as possible with a prtable pH meter. The carbonate/bicarbonate content is found by titration with hydrochloric acid to pH 4.5 using the pH meter. Ca and Mg are found by M.D.T.A. titrations. Chloride is found by titration with silver nitrate. 4. Results. If it is not possible to reproduce many of the results here. Some results are shown below. Results of temperature measuring trips can be found in St. Cuthbert’s Newssheet No. 6


Temp (oC)

12 11 10

+

9

*

+

x

8

*

6

+

+

*

x

x

*

*

7 6 Aug 1965

Jan 1966 Key:

Aug 1966

+

Stream, Wookey Hole.

x

Kanchenjunga drip.

*

Pulpit Passage, Second West Inlet. Pulpit Passage, East Inlet.

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Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/8

Editor’s Note: Owing to the methoid of reproduction, the above graph should only be taken as an indication of relative temperature variations, for more accurate information, please contact the author. 5. Conclusion. Some stream very less than others in temperature, and the streams with the least temperature variation are harder than the other steams. This would suggest that they originate as slow seepage rather than a surface stream. 6. Additional problems raised by the work. (a) The change in Temperature and Hardness of a Stream, as it Flows through the Cave. Changes are greatest in the space between the sink and the stream’s re-appearance in the cave. Inside the cave, temperature changes are very slow, except at the pitches. Apart from this, sudden changes of temperature or hardness are indicative of admixture with water from a different source. The change in Temperature and hardness of water between Plantation Swallet and Plantation Junction (22.5.66) was strikingly small. (b) Using measurements to find the Relative Sizes of Stream. The effectiveness of this method can be seen from the examples given below. When working out the distribution of water in the cave, this considerably reduces the number of weirs to be constructed. Ratio of Main Stream to Plantation Junction Stream – from measurements at Plantation Junction – 22.5.66. Temperature Readings Total Hardness Calcium Hardness

1:9.4 (Outside limits 13 – 7) 1:11.7 (Outside limits 16 – 9.5) 1:9.4 (Outside limits 12 – 8)

A value of 1:10 will be more accurate than a figure given by weirs. (c) Measuring Air temperatures.


Preliminary work with thermometers showed that when trying to measure air temperatures, there could be a half a degree error after the thermometer has been left for five minutes. A study of air temperatures is more appropriate to a study of the meteorology of the cave than to study of the hydrology of the cave. (d) Using measurements to Indicate the Source of Inlet Stream. In this cave, a winter temperature of stream below 8oC or a summer stream temperature of over 10oC indicates that the stream has come from a direct route from the surface. Hardness figures are more complicated to interpret, and there is a lot of more work to be done. As depth increases, hardness of inlet streams increase, but not enough samples have been taken. A stream flowing directly from the surface may be identified by sampling the possible surface streams. The method may also indicate when a stream splits up inside the cave. The source of the Maypole Series Stream has been found using temperature and hardness methods. (e) Seasonal Variation of Temperature and Hardness of Inlet Streams. Results show that when a stream increased in size after rain, the hardness becomes less. Temperatures of streams are much closer to those of the parent surface streams when the volume increases, and the hydrology can change. Assuming the temperature of some small inlets to give an indication of the temperature of the rock, there does seem to be a change of rock temperature, this variation being ‘out of step’ with seasonal temperature. Rock temperature would also appear to increase with depth.

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(f) A More Comprehensive Analysis of Water Samples. Mr. N.L. Thomas has found values of less than 1 p.p.m. each for Iron, Lead and Manganese. Mr. G.A. Fowler has found less than 1 p.p.m. for silicate and phosphate. The author has found values of Iron of 0.01 p.p.m. and Lead too small to measure by the Sulphide (colorimetric) Method. The author has tried to measure permanent hardness by two different methods, but results have only been reproducible within limits of ± 5 p.p.m. of CaCO3. A method of measuring dissolved Carbon Dioxide by a volumetric method has been attempted, with similar limits of reproducibility. Results from samples obtained 20.8.66 and 22.8.66 are given below. All figures show the equivalent concentration of CaCO3 in parts per million. 1 2 3 4 5 Calcium 105 135 267 264 266 Magnesium 11 10 18 20 26 TOTAL 116 145 285 284 292 Bicarbonate 103 133 148 213 239 Permanent Hardness 13 15 42 65 50 TOTAL 116 148 290 278 289 Chloride 11 10 14 32 22 Carbon Dioxide 41 15 Key: Col. 1. Plantation stream. Col 2. St. Cuthbert’s Pool. Col. 3. Wookey Hole Stream. Col. 4 Wookey Hole Gour. Col.5 Cuthbert’s Gour. 7. Work still in progress. The author wishes to re-emphasise that the work is still in progress, and that this is only intended to be brief report on the work done so far. _______________________________________________________________________________________

BEWARE Most members will be aware that some cases of stealing have been reported on Mendip recently. Opinion seems to favour an outsider – possible a grudge against the caving fraternity. However, until the culprit is


found, or gets fed up and stops, all members are warned to be very careful about any personal property. This applies especially to property left in cars outside pubs on Mendip. In addition to keeping a watch, all members are asked to look out for the following stolen property Stolen between 10.20 and 10.40pm on 18.11.66 from outside the Queen Victoria, Priddy. Framed Bergen style rucksack. Dark green with numerous scout & Y.H.A. badges on it. Cleveland neoprene wet suit jacket. I pair black leather boots. Boiler suit. Miscellaneous socks and shirts. Premier carbide lamp. 2 carrying bags. I towel. Stolen between 9.00 and 10.30pm from outside Hunters Lodge. Es W.D. Rucksack. Khaki webbing type with red square and ‘141’ painted on it in white. Typhoon wet suit – double skin neoprene – black. 1 new pair red leather boots size 8. 1 roll neoprene tape ¾” tape. 1 tin evostick. 3 waterproof crayons. 1 sleeping bag, royal blue with lining having two tears which have been repaired with light blue tape. A further theft of similar equipment occurred at Maine’s Barn, Priddy during the night 19th/20th November. Any information which any member may discover about any of the above or similar equipment known to have been stolen on Mendip should be given to the police at either WELLS 3481, or to P.C. Brice at CHEWTON MENDIP 326. Page 63 Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/10

CLUB

OFFICERS - 1966

The following is a complete list of all club officers for the year October 1966 – October 1967. General Committee. R.J.Bagshaw; R. Bennett; S.J. Collins; G. Dell; N. Petty; D. Searle; R.D. Stenner; A.R. Thoams; G. Tilly; E. Welch. Long Term Planning Committee. S.J. Collins; G. Dell; R.S. King; P. Ifold; A.R. Thomas; W. Smart. Cuthbert’s Sub-Committee. R. Bennett; B.M. Ellis; D. Irwin; R.D. Stenner; G. Tilly. CLUB OFFICERS. (Alphabetical order of jobs) Belfry Bulletin: Editor Belfry Bulletin: Postal Department Belfry Engineer Caving Publications: Editor Caving Publications: Production Caving Secretary Climbing Secretary Committee Chairman Hon. Librarian Hon. Secretary Hon. Treasurer Hut Warden Hut Warden (Assistant) Minute Secretary M.R.O. Wardens (Appointed by M.R.O.) Palnning Committee: Chairman

S.J. Collins. J. Bennett. G. Dell. B.M. Ellis. G. Tilly. R. Bennett. E. Welch. S.J. Collins. J. Bennett. R.D. Stenner. R.J. Bagshaw G. Tilly. D. Searle. S.J. Collins. K. Franklin. D. Irwin. P. Ifold.


Planning Committee: Secretary Spares Tacklemaster

S.J. Collins. D. Searle. N. Petty.

The addresses of all club officials follow: 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4. R.J. Bagshaw, 8 Radnor Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol J. Bennett (Mrs), 8 Radnor Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol R. Bennett, c/o Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Somerset S.J. Collins, c/o The Belfry, Priddy, Wells, Somerset G. Dell, Knockaouns, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset B.M. Ellis, 52 Rockingham House, Lawrence Weston, Bristol K. Franklin, Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin, Somerset P. Ifold, 9 Camden Hill Gardens, London, W.8 D. Irwin, 22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Bristol R.S. King, 12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol 4 N. Petty, Dolphin Cottage, Priddy, Somerset D. Searle, c/o Richard Costain (C.E.) Ltd., Aberthaw(B) Power Station, Aberthaw, Glam. W. Smart, 38 Paultrow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3 R.D. Stenner, Westhavenj School, Uphill, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset A.R. Thomas Jable, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset E. Welch, Frenchay Lodge Bungallow, Frenchay, Brsitol G. Tilly Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/11 Page 64

CAVING

REPORTS

Ladies! Why not give your boy friend a B.E.C. Caving Report for Christmas? It might take his mind off other things for a while! Seriously, most of the B.E.C. Series of Caving Reports are still available, but quantities are limited and stocks will not last for ever. Now is a god time to think about adding to your personal caving library. As you will see from the list below, some reports are already unobtainable and the current position is as below: No. 1 No. 2 No. 3 No. 3A No. 4 No. 5 No. 6 No. 7 No. 8 No. 9 No. 10 No. 11 No. 12 No. 13

“Surveying in Redcliffe Caves, Bristol” (Reprinted 1963) “A Preliminary Report on St. Cuthbert’s Swallet” “Manufacture of Lightweight Ladders” “Manufacture of Lightweight Ladders” (Revised 1962) “The shoring of Swallet Cave Entrances” “A Survey of Lighting and Headgear for Caving” (To be revised & Reprinted) “Some Smaller Mendip Caves – Vol. II” “A Second Report on St. Cuthbert’s Swallet” “A Preliminary Survey Plan of St. Cuthbert’s” “Some Smaller Mendip Caves – Vol. II” “The B.E.C. Method of Caving Ladder Construction” The Long Chamber/Coral Area of St. Cuthbert’s (including survey) “The Presentation of Cave Survey Data” Part ‘O’ St. Cuthbert’s Definitive Report (Miscellaneous information)

3/Out of Print Out of Print 3/2/6 Out of Print 2/6 Out of Print Out of Print 2/6 3/3/6 5/2/6

A long account of the recent A.G.M. follows. We make no apology for taking up so much B.B. space with it, as some discussion which may affect the club considerably took place and we feel that, as a democratic club, we should give those members who were unable to be present, some opportunity to read the proceedings in as full a form as practicable.

1966 Annual General Meetin g


The 1966 Annual General Meeting of the Bristol Exploration Club opened at 2.50pm on Saturday, October 1st, 1966 with 37 members present. The number rose to 41 shortly afterwards. It was proposed by Alfie and seconded by John Ransom that Oliver Lloyd be elected as Chairman. This was carried by nom. con. The Chairman then asked for proposals for tellers for the ballot. Frank Darbon, Frank Jones and Colin Henry George Rees were elected. Ballot papers and members’ resolutions were then collected. The Hon. Secretary then reads the minutes of the 1965 Annual General Meeting. The minutes were adopted unanimously. The Hon. Secretary then gave his report. He reminded members that this would be the last time he would be giving this report. He could not now devote the necessary time and energy to the secretaryship and, in any case, felt that after fifteen years, the club could do with a new secretary. He hoped that the club would support his successor in the same way that it had always supported him. There had been 29 new members, and the membership stood at 180 – a decrease of 3. These figures were approximate as there were several outstanding subscriptions which he assured the meeting that the treasurer was confident of collecting. There would be 125 at the dinner and he understood that a resolution on entertainment was to be brought up later. The Council if Southern Cave Clubs had continued to operate and he felt sure that this system would enable individual clubs to operate without interference. It was proposed by Alan Thomas that the report be adopted without discussion. This was seconded by Ron King. The Chairman amplified the Hon. Secretary’s statement on the Regional Councils, and described the organisation as a body without a head. This type of organisation was best able to provide a framework within which two clubs could help each other without being dictated to. The organisation will meet once a year. Page 65 Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/12 The Hon. Treasurer then gave his report. He was afraid that the financial statement did not give the full picture, but hoped that he would have more time to devote to this task next year. The increase of subscriptions was due to the popularity of Life membership. The sixpence so grudgingly given contributed usefully to the clubs finances. Car badges and ties must be re-ordered next year. The Belfry and Belfry Bulletin continue to consume money but he was pleased to see also that there had been good spending on tackle. He suggested that the new committee should re-invest the Ian Dear Memorial Fund in five and a half percent bonds. During the discussion which followed, Alfie asked why no Belfry receipts were shown on the financial statement. The Hon. Treasurer replied that they had been received too late for inclusion. Dave Irwin asked whether these receipts were up on last year’s or not. The Hut Warden replied that they were slightly up on last years. Bob White asked why the Hut Warden only appeared to pay the Treasurer once a year. The Hon. Treasurer replied that he received money more often than this, but only got a financial breakdown of Belfry receipts and expenditure annually. He hoped to introduce a better system next year. The money already received had in fact been subtracted from the Belfry expenditure. In reply to a further question, he said that the closing date for his accounts was the 31st August. The Chairman asked whether the capital sum represented by the development bond was shown in the accounts. The Hon. Treasurer said that he felt they should be kept separately, as they were not part of normal club funds. He reminded members that the statement was not a balance sheet, nor was it an income and expenditure account. Bob White asked whether fire insurance was included. The Hon. Treasurer said that it had not been included in this statement, as it had been paid too late, but was in fact, £4/4/-. Dave Irwin proposed that the report be adopted. This was seconded by Gordon Tilly and carried nom. com. The Caving secretary then gave his report. The past year had been one of great interest, and a wide and varied list of activities had resulted. Alan Coase’s part in the major new discoveries in Dan-yr-Ogof was the most interesting from the new discovery point of view, but the Raucher Expedition in Austria had resulted In members acquiring experience of long trips (over 80 hours) in cold conditions, and the highlight of this trip was ‘Mo’ Marriotts’ bottoming of a 320 foot shaft. The B.E.C. shaft (like the B.E.C. at times? – Ed) was found to be too tight. Alan Thomas had also been to Greece and had led a party earlier in the year to


Morocco. Caving had also been done in Switzerland, Ireland, Yorkshire and South Wales – in addition to well attended local meets. The interest in diving has been revived, and Phil Kingston has reached Wookey 15. On general caving, Cuthbert’s remains the most popular cave; but visits to the smaller local caves had also proved popular. In Cuthbert’s, two mock rescues had been held, which resulted in the removal of a helpless ‘victim;’ from Beehive Chamber to the Belfry in 7 hours. A special gear had been designed for hauling a victim up the Entrance Rift. There had also been two real rescues. On the scientific site, Roger Stenner has been engaged in water analysis, and N.L. Thomas in biological studies in the Maypole area, which is temporarily close to cavers to enable the studies to be continue. He had also been doing similar work in Gough’s. Five teams are now working on the resurveying of the cave. Digging was represented by work in Maesbury and Emborough. The Caving Secretary hoped that these digging activities would continue as it is only by digging that we shall be able to make new major discoveries. He concluded by wishing his successor all possible help. The Chairman opened the discussion by saying how glad he was to see that the time and trouble taken by the club members on practice rescues had resulted in the very smooth operation of real rescues from the cave. While on this subject, he announced that the M.R.O. would be holding an open meeting on Sunday, 13th November. Alan Thomas then proposed a vote of thanks to the Caving Secretary. This was seconded by Alfie and carried with applause.

Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/13

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The Climbing Secretary then gave his report. Six out of the eight planned trips had taken place as well as several privately run trips. Local climbing had also occurred in the Avon Gorge and Frome Valley. The latter work had resulted in the first Climbing Report be published. He thought that privately run trips were a good idea for a small climbing section. Gordon Tilly moved that the report be adopted. This was seconded by John Ransom and carried nom. com. The TACKLEMASTER then gave his report. Due to problems encountered during the year, no new tackle had been made. The club had also lost two ropes and one ladder (since found – Ed) and hence 640’ of ladder and 850’ of rope. Bob White asked whether the tackle was covered by insurance? Norman replied that it was not, except for tackle taken abroad. The Chairman asked whether it was worth insuring tackle and it was agreed to ask the 1966-67 Committee to look into this. It was moved by Dave Irwin and seconded by D. Statham that the report be adopted. This was carried nom. com. The Chairman then announced the results of the election. 65 valid ballot papers produced the following result. Bob Bagshaw (63); Norman Petty (61); Roy Bennett (60); Alfie Collins (58); Eddie Welch (52); Gordon Tilly (46); Roger Stenner (51); Dave Searle (21); and Garth Dell (20). The first nine were therefore declared elected. The Hut Warden then gave his report. It had not been too good a year. The Bed-night total was 1,527 as compared with 1,431 last year, but was still some way down on figures exceeding 1,800 which had been reported in the past. It had been suggested that the drop had been due to the discouragement of visiting clubs by reducing the number of bunks available to visitors. This was perhaps partly true and was due to member’s requirements needing priority at the time. It has since been found possible to increase the number of bunks for visitors. The Hut Warden said that another aspect had been that many members of the W.S.G. are Belfry Regulars anyway, and that other visitors often preferred to camp. However, visits from Exeter, Cambridge and the Northern Pennine have taken place and with the opening of the Bridge, perhaps we may expect more visitors from Wales next year.


The Hut Warden reported that the state of the Belfry had improved slightly, but the cleaning of saucepans was still a sore point. (In view of the expected invasion from Wales, perhaps we should say that we prefer a sospan wen to a sospen ddu! – Ed.) The Hut Warden appealed for more saucepans. Alan Thomas said that if members wished to raise any complaints about the Belfry, it might be a good idea to do so now or for ever hold their peace. The Hut Warden immediately moved the adoption of his report but was ruled out of order by the Chairman. Dave Irwin asked whether the old car could be removed. It was resolved by A. Collins and seconded by G. Dell that strong representations be made to the owner and that lack of subsequent action to be treated as a serious offence. An amendment proposed by Bob White and seconded by Roy Bennett suggested that this matter be left to the Committee. The amendment was carried 19 – 12 and thus became a substantive resolution which was then carried nom. con. John Ransom then proposed that the report be adopted. This was seconded by Alan Thomas and carried without dissent. The Hut Engineer then gave his report. Routine work had been carried out on the Belfry as and when needed. The Women’s Room roof had been repaired. The Men’s end of the toilets had been completed but had not proved as popular as the Ladies, which is used by both sexes. Constant observation of the septic tank had shown that it was working satisfactorily. Planning permission for the shower had been obtained. It was proposed by Frank Jones and seconded by Bill Smart that the report be adopted. This was carried nom. com. The Chairman then announced a 15 minute break for tea. After the tea break, a request was received for a recount of the last two places in the ballot. This was carried out with no change in the previous figures. The Long Term Planning Report followed. Alfie explained that the article in the last B.B. had been designed to show the club what might be involved in the construction and financing of a permanent Belfry.

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There had been some 20 replies to the questionnaire and that nearly all replies were in favour of a new building, and prepared to help in some way. He suggested that the next stage should be the setting up of a larger committee to draw up plans. The Chairman asked who was on the present committee. Alfie replied himself, Alan Thomas and Gordon Tilly. The Chairman said that he saw no objection to Alfie’s suggestion that an enlarged committee investigate all aspects including the obtaining of a grant from the Department of Education and Science and that they could prepare a complete scheme including getting all the necessary grants ands permissions without actually committing the club to any course of action. This could then be put to the club, who would decide. Alan Thomas said that he had seen the Planning Officer and anticipated no trouble. We could, for instance, put up a rendered or pebble dashed concrete block structure. He hoped that in any case, the club would not build an ugly building. As far as the grant was concerned however, he was against it and proposed a resolution that “Under no circumstances will the B.E.C. ask for any grant.” The Chairman said, before accepting this amendment, he must note that there seemed to be a matter of principle here which was of great importance, and a discussion should therefore take place first. He assured the meeting that the acceptance of a grant did not involve any ‘strings’ whatever. Alan Thomas replied that the B.E.C. always stood on its own feet. It liked to be free to do things its own way. Suppose, he said, that a government inspector arrived at the Belfry on the morning after the Barbecue when everyone was sitting around nursing their heads. We would be told to get out and go caving! He pointed out that B.E.C. was an exploration club and this included, if necessary or desirable, the exploration of the effects of alcohol on the human body. He personally enjoyed a good hangover now and then (cries of “masochist!”) and he did not see why we should allow our way of life – which happened to include a lot of good caving and underground scientific work amongst other things – to be dictated by government officials. Ron King replied that another principle of the B.E.C. was surely to obtain something for nothing if possible and that we should therefore accept a grant.


Dave Irwin said that he was on Alan’s side. There were no state grounds for rescues. If we – as cavers – got into difficulties underground, we knew that only fellow cavers would get us out again. No government body such as the police or fire brigade was actually involved in rescuing us. It should be the same with the provision of accommodation. Alan Thomas agreed and said that the B.E.C. accepted people of all races, colours and creeds providing only that they were interested in B.E.C. activities and got on with present members. We take people, he said, as we find them. We do not want to be told to do this. The Chairman pointed out that the club was already open to the public. We could still refuse individual members and it seemed a little like splitting hairs to refuse free money when it made no difference at all to the club. As far as rescues were concerned, there was no means of getting money from the government but if there were, the M.R.O. might well consider it. We could, in fact, go later against the terms of a grant after we had received one and there was nothing the government could do about it. There was an inspector, it was true, but she was in fact a charming lady. He felt that the club should not set its face against a grant without considerable thought. Bob Bagshaw said that there was obviously a lot of deeply held feelings both for and against a grant. He wondered if the meeting should make a snap decision and pointed out that there were many things involved which had not yet been considered. It should be said that the grant was our money since we all paid taxes. On the other hand, he was against any form of government interference and would need to be completely convinced that no such interference was possible. We might in any case, be able to raise the money. Alan suggested that the matter should be referred to a committee as proposed by Alfie and that this committee should be of six people not more than three of whom should be members of the general committee. This resolution was seconded by Brian Howe and carried nom. com. Various names were then suggested. Brain Howe; Bill Smart; Pat ifold; Garth Dell; Gordon Tilly; Ron King; and Bob Bagshaw. Joan Bennett said that she thought the three committee members should be ex officio and suggested the Treasurer, Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/15 Page 68 Hut Warden and Belfry Engineer. A vote was taken on this proposal and it was defeated by a large majority in favour of electing named people. Alfie pointed out that the actual job (whether club position or outside employment) was of little importance as a qualification. What was wanted was six people who would do the work. These people would obviously consult all the experts they could find – as well as the views of ordinary members. Sybil asked if her views would be allowed a hearing and Alfie said that, although he could not speak for the new Planning Committee, he was sure they would listen with attention to all the ideas and views presented to them. An election was then held, and the committee (in order of votes cast in favour) was Alfie; Alan Thomas; Garth; Pat Ifold; Bill Smart and Ron King. It was proposed that this committee be instructed to prepare a full scheme for submitting to the club, either by publication of by E.G.M. before next A.G.M. The B.B. Editor then gave his report. The year had been an average one for the B.B. On the other hand, an electric operated duplicator together with stocks of paper, stencils and ink to the value of £50 had been obtained at no cost to the club. He felt that the B.B. was being kept going by too few contributors, and appealed to all to let the Postal Department know of any changes of address. The adoption of the reports was moved by Frank Darbon and seconded by Ron king and carried nom. com. The Caving Publications report was then read by Gordon Tilly. He explained that he was doing the actual production of the reports, while Bryan Ellis was in charge of the Editorial and Sales side. He said that Reports 11 and 12 had been issued and that the Cuthbert’s Reports would be issued during the coming year. Part ‘O’ was on sale now. Kangy added that 32 copies of the Climbing Report had been sold. The report, after a discussion on finance had taken place, was adopted after its adoption had been proposed by Garth Dell and seconded by Nigel Hallett. The Hon. Librarian gave her report. The library had been moved to the Waggon and Horses, but had not been used much since. The report was adopted, G. Tilley and R. Bennett proposing and seconding the adoption.


The first member’s resolution was now put to the meeting. Proposed by Ron Bater and seconded by Brian Howe, it resolved that organised entertainment should be provided at the B.E.C. dinners. An amendment was proposed by Roy Bennett and seconded by D. Statham that this entertainment should be of a non-professional nature. In support of the resolution, Brian Howe said that a Group could be obtained and that the cost would be small. It would add about 1/6 to the price of a ticket. It was not proposed to encourage Hunters Songs by this means. Sybil said that she would prefer to consider entertainment in a wider context and would not like to be confined to musical entertainment (that’s what is says in the notes Ed). Voting on the amendment was 14 for and 14 against. The Chairman exercised his casting vote against the amendment. The resolution was now voted on and defeated 15 – 12. The second resolution “That the Library be moved to the Belfry” was proposed by Dave Irwin and seconded by A. Meadon and was carried without discussion by a large majority. The third resolution “That the increase of Belfry dues imposed by the last committee be ratified and the rules accordingly altered” was also carried without discussion or dissent. The Editor unfortunately had to leave the meeting at this stage and is unable to describe the remaining resolutions, none of which were carried. At one stage, he understands that the meeting was found to be inquorate, and the Chairman finally called the meeting to an end. Note: This description does not constitute the ‘official’ description of the meeting. _______________________________________________________________________________________

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B.E.C. Caving Reports, and other caving publications including as number of surveys can be bought from B.M. ELLIS, KNOCKAUNS, COMBWICH, BRIDGWATER, SOMERSET. A list of B.E.C. reports will be found on page 63. Send to Bryan for full details of publications for sale. Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/16

The Christmas B.B. traditionally contains some articles of a lighter nature. Here is a caving report with a difference!

An Interesting Experience In Goatchurch (With apologies to Hywel Murrell) Hywel, as a founder member of the Wessex Cave Club, was guest of honour at the 1966 Wessex Dinner. He recollected that when he was secretary some years ago, he often received peculiar letters from members or prospective members. We obtained permission from him to publish one of these in the B.B. and we hope that Hywel will excuse any slight divergences from the original letter as he read it, and that he will make due allowances for the Festive Season…… To the Secretary, Wessex Cave Club. Dear Sir, I was caving in Goatchurch the other day. A friend and I proceeded to the bottom of the cave. I was somewhat delayed, so that as he reached the end of what we call the Rabbit Run first. I had just entered the passage, when I heard a peculiar rushing noise and something hit me in the face and put out my candle. With great difficulty, I worked my left arm behind me, only to find that my matches were in my right hand pocket. I therefore reversed the procedure and at last managed to get the matches out with my right hand. A had just lit the candle again and with great difficulty replaced the box of matches in my right hand hip pocket when another bat – evidently disturbed by my friend at the end of the passage, or not liking the


look of him (I can hardly blame it) – came flying down the passage. As I turned my head to avoid it, the bat knocked off my spectacles and hit the candle inside my jumper where it set fire to the hairs on my chest. I put the fire out by flattening my chest hard against the ground. This was an unfortunate move, as the safety pin I had used to replace a shirt button had come undone when the candle had gone inside my jumper, and my sudden movement now caused the sharp end of the open pin to be driven hard into my chest, causing me much pain. I worked my arm down to pull out the pin, inadvertently knocking off my helmet as I did so. At this point, I made a mistake. I decided not to put my helmet on again – especially as I would need to have it off in order to replace my spectacles when I had found them in the dark so I attempted to pass the helmet backwards past my body. I got the helmet past my chest. This was very painful, as the burns and the place where the pin had gone in hurt as I forced the helmet past. It was then the helmet reached my hips that I realised it would go no further. With great difficulty, I got a hand back to the helmet but could not shift it, so I decided to press my hips down hard on it in the hope that I would crush it. On the second attempt, I managed to do this, forgetting that I still had my right hand under the helmet. A belt which I had put on to hold the chinstrap dug a groove in my wrist and gave me much additional pain. With great difficulty, I worked by injured hand free and set out on the job of finding my spectacles and candle. I soon found the candle, which was quite small and with what I still consider to be great presence of mind in adversity, held it between my teethe so as not to lose it again. I then saw that my spectacles must be lying in the passage ahead of me, as they were reflecting a light from the other end of the passage where my companion waited. I crawled towards this light only to find the lid of a Beecham’s Pills tin. It was at this point I found my spectacles by putting one knee on them which crushed them and cut my knee badly. Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/17 Page 70 It is only natural, I suppose, to jerk violently when one has cut ones knee and is still in contact with broken glass. The fact that this violent jerk scraped the box of matches in my right hand hip pocket against the rock, where the friction set them alight seemed to me to be sheer bad luck. With great difficulty, I once more worked my injured right hand down towards my pocket, causing more pain as I forced it past my damaged chest and removed the still hot matches which burnt my fingers. I also cut my hand removing the rest of the broken glass from under my knee. As I brought up my hand back to go on crawling, I must have accidentally undone the string which was holding up my trousers because as I made my way painfully along, they gradually turned inside out, making progress very difficult and causing me to scrape the cuts and burns on the rocks as I moved. Not having any light, I saw no point in attempting to look ahead. It was probably this which caused me to meet my companion – who had come to find out what was going on – head on, and to bash my head on his helmet. His helmet had two protruding screws on the top. The force of this collision caused me to swallow the candle I had been holding between my teeth. Now that the stitches have been taken out of my head, I have decided that I am not very keen on caving. Please refund my subscription to the Wessex Cave Club. P.S. I would like to relieve myself of six pounds of candles if you will have them. _______________________________________________________________________________________

CUTHBERTS 1966 Work continues, as in the past, at a very leisurely rate and still much work needs to be done. The latest discovery – in the most popular part of the system – heralds the possibility of yet anther large extension;


though more about this later. In all, the most interesting feature of this years work is that the field had broadened to a much wider front. From a caver’s point of view, exploration is always at the forefront. Although little has been found in the way of new passage, the potential of the new discovery promises much for the future. The new passage is off the Cascade area. Originally looked at by Don Coase and Norman Petty, it was never pushed far. This year, Norman’s interest in this area resulted – after nearly ten years – in the discovery of nearly a hundred feet of vadose passage running up dip across the Cascade and Boulder Chamber. The main part, though, is a huge strike rift about forty to fifty feet long, ten to twenty feet wide and well over sixty feet high. The top shows a landing from where the Cascade originates – making the flow at least a hundred and ten feet high. Whether this will ever be climbed remains to be seen. Roger Stenner also reports unexplored passages in the Water Shute – Mud Hall area during his surveying trip. Most, though small, certainly show no signs of ever having been previously entered. These might prove interesting. Tony Meadon and Dave Irwin located some interesting side passages and avens in September Chamber that had not been recorded before, with some very fine formations including helictites. For the benefit of future explorers in the September Ruckle, it will be as well to say that parts of it are very unstable as Phil Kingston and Dave Palmer found out earlier this year. Even after escaping from the collapsing area, booming noises continued for quite some time after! Helictites in September Series Digging seems to be the present vogue amongst leaders, with the Dining Room Dig being dug spasmodically. Mud Ball Dig was finished about April when an oral connection was made with the Dining Page 71

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Room Dig. From the new survey made of the Cerberus Series it appears certain that there is another fracture running parallel with the main Gour Lake Fault, but whether it is connected with the main fault remains to be determined. It also appears that the sump passage may be formed along this fault some 20 feet from the main Gour Lake fault. John Cornwell has revived interest in the sump area, so much so that a great push is being made in this area next Jan/Feb. So far he has been digging at three or four points. The first was at the end of the Gour Rift and resulted in the discovery of a completely choked phreatic tube. The mud contained fair amounts of charcoal to a depth of some 4 – 5 feet. This surely indicates recent choking and speaks for itself. He has also dug in the high level passage in the roof of Sump Passage but this tends to back towards known cave. Diligent searching revealed a small phreatic tube sandbank and the sump and some rapid erosion has taken place revealing more passage going in the direction of the sump. An attempt is now being planned to dig the sump and beat the divers at their own game! By damming the streams outside and inside the cave and lowering the floor of the sump passage digging through the sump is a distinct possibility and this work will be on its way when this article is published. Will people interested in digging here please contact John Cornwell or myself. A new survey of the cave is under way and has resulted in the Rabbit Warren, Cerberus Series and the lower part of Rocky Boulder being all but completed, to either Grade 5 or 6. The results of the new survey will appear in the course of the next year or so and will be issued at a scale of 1” : 10’. These will be issued series by series in the new Cuthbert’s Report (B.E.C. Caving Report No. 13) and will show, in addition to the plan, passage sections and elevations, fully detailed. A 1” : 20’ plan and elevation will be published later for the complete cave, but will show no passage detail. Appearing in the report will be details of water flow and temperatures, airflow and temperatures and detail of flora, fauna and geology. The report will be issued in fifteen parts.


Roger Stenner has been studying the variation of chemical content in cave streams with some interesting results. He claims from his preliminary results (some of which have already been published in the B.B. – Ed) that water flowing into a small sink in the depression is the source of the Maypole Stream. The Flood Control pipe has been in operation for about 18 months and has proved its usefulness beyond doubt. Only on 2 weekends has the cave been closed due to water conditions. On inspection, it was found that the wire gauze was choked with grass etc. thus causing a natural blockage. Regular cleaning in future will ensure the cave being open in all conditions. It has been a regular feature of private trips into the system to climb out of the rift with the full stream flowing down making it extremely sporting. Although good fun, this should only be attempted by people who are well acquainted with the rift as a serious accident could otherwise easily occur. The annual practice rescue took place in June and for the first time the trip went very smoothly and the ‘victim’ (Pete Franklin) was successfully carried from Beehive Chamber to the Belfry in seven hours. The value of such practices was born out by the two real rescues in February and August. What 1967 will bring is, of course, in the lap of the gods but with a mass of passages still to be explored and dug, should bring interesting results if pushed. D.Irwin. _______________________________________________________________________________________

NOTICES ™ A key to the TACKLE STORE will be held by DAVE SEARLE at Dolphin Cottage, and may be obtained from him when no other keys are available at the Belfry site. ™ A DOZEN VOLUNTEERS are wanted to help with water tracing on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd of Jan. Get in touch with Roger Stenner. Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/19

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Christmas Thought. We hear that the W****X were made a gift of a “cement mixer with a bit missing”. When it was delivered, they were somewhat surprised to find that the missing ‘bit’ was the engine. _______________________________________________________________________________________ About this time of year, we endeavour to bring a spot of culture to our readers. You may remember last year that our research department, sparing no effort, unearthed a hitherto unpublished fragment of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. This year we feel it is the turn of science, and we publish some known and not so well known Physical laws and Effects.

Physical Laws & Effects Laws and effects are given in alphabetical order. Alfie’s Law:

Bagshaw’s Principle: Bennett

“The damage done to cave formation is a function of the amount of discovery effected in the system.” This law was originally discovered when it was found that damage to formations became zero in the case of Alfie’s Hole, when it was decided not to discover the rest of the cave. This in an axiom of cave club finance, and is normally expressed by the phrase “A sixpence in the hand is worth two in the book” and is generally taken to refer to the discrepancy between the actual finance and recorded statements. The Bennett Effect occurs when a human body comes into contact with a cast iron


Effect: Castle Farm Effect: Devenish Law:

Ellis Criteria: Hunter’s Effect:

Petty’s Law: Principle of Relativity: Tripod Effect:

Thomas Effect: Page 73

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Setterington’s Law:

Wessex Effect:

nameplate. If the velocity of contact exceeds a critical value (known as the Bennett Velocity) the nameplate becomes fractured. (Also known as the Vee Swallet Effect; Maesbury Effect; Fairman Effect etc.) “The estimated date of breakthrough on any cave dig remains constant at ‘Next weekend’ over that last six month prior to the abandonment of the dig.” “The cross sectional area of cave passage decreases with the passage of time” Devenish’s law is expressed by the formula….A = Ao(1 – 1/Dt) where Ao is the cross sectional area of any cave passage on the first trip. A is the cross sectional area at any subsequent time t and D is the Devenish Coefficient (whose magnitude varies for individual cavers). A corollary to this (sometime known as Devenish’ Second Law of Constriction) states that the total volume V of any cave remains constant with time. Thus all passage lengths increase with time. This is an axiom in Hutmanship which states “In any efficiently run hut, the number of bednights per calor cylinder exceeds 100.” “The key in which songs are sung is higher that that which is most suitable for the average male voice by an amount depending on the beer consumed by the singers.” The expression for this effect is normally written f = fo.2Hm/12 where f is the frequency of the keynote, fo is the frequency of the most suitable keynote, m is the average number of pints consumed by the singers and H is the Hunters Coefficient in semitones/pint. Practical measurements give the value of H as 0.981. This has given rise to a school of thought which suggests it might be related to the gravity of the beer. “The total amount of tackle remains constant irrespective of the rate at which new tackle is constructed.” This states that the number of cavers related to each other will always increase. In this respect it has been compared to entropy. This is really a special case of Sod’s law. It states that the optimum place for the erection of a tripod for photography of surveying is such that one leg will always be too short to reach the nearest ground which will keep the tripod stable. Kendal mint cake flashes when broken in the dark.

“The excellence of a stew is independent of the contents and taste.” This law is based on the Setterington Effect which observes that a spoon will stand for some time upright in a good stew. If this time is represented by ‘t’ seconds, and the stew cost ‘p’ shillings and fed ‘n’ people, then its goodness in degrees Setterington (os) is given by: o S = (100n/p0) 1 − 1 / t It will be seen that for time below 1 second, the answer becomes imaginary. Such stews are therefore known as imaginary stews and may only be manipulated rectorially. For time greater than one second, the stew becomes real. “In the absence of illumination, a caver standing above the Forty in Swildons experiences sudden defecation due to emotional shock.”

Long Term Planning[2] ….Second Report from the Long Term Planning Committee. Two letters were received from members since last month’s report. One from Sett – who holds the record for length of reign as Hut Warden, and who probably holds the Bed-night record at the Belfry, and the other from John Lamb – who has had a lot of building experience since moving down to Cornwall a few years ago. These letters were both read to the committee. The suggestions contained re-finance were taken up and are being looked into. The point made as to whether the Super Belfry is necessary at all was felt by the committee to be outside its terms of reference. These are to present a scheme to the club. It is then up to the club to decide whether to go ahead with the scheme or not.


The other new suggestion to come up is that of looking into the possibility of making the club into a company limited by subscription. Alfie made this suggestion and was given the job of looking into it further. The committee then went on to consider the next subject, that of accommodation. Decisions were reached as follows: - Assuming we stay on the present site (this is one of the things the committee will be considering next month) we will need the following accommodation:1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Good washing facilities – preferably hot showers. Tackle Store. Changing Room. Workshop for Tacklemaster and Hut Engineer. Men’s sleeping room. Women’s sleeping room. Combined living room and kitchen. Library. Toilets.

The present intention to use the Stone Belfry as a tackle store and workshop and to retain the present toilets. Thus, the new building will comprise – Washing room – Changing room – Men’s and Women’s rooms – Living room and kitchen – Library. It was agreed that the women’s room should sleep six and the men’s room a total of thirty six, although it was not envisaged that the full complement of bunks would be provided at first. A moveable partition between men’s and women’s rooms is also a possibility, as the committee stresses the need for the building to be designed as flexibly as possible. A separate kitchen was decided against on two counts. It decreases this flexibility, and makes it less easy for control over untidiness to be exercised. The committee do not wish to see the Belfry split up into a number of rooms as they feel that this could well lead to the fragmentation of the club. The building must be Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/21

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used as communally as possible, and hence the library must not be allowed to act as a focal point for any one section of the club. It is intended that this room should be treated as a special purpose room in the same way as the tackle store or workshop, and be normally kept locked as they will be. The committee then found that the size of the building which would accommodate all these facilities was not incompatible with the money which they had previously decided could be raised. Your comments on this phase of the work and on the next month’s subject will be welcomed. Write to the secretary, S.J. Collins. c/o Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Somerset. Next month’s topic is SITUATION. Where do we want to put the new building? Do we want to say on our present site? &c &c &c. _______________________________________________________________________________________

R E V I E W Cave Surveying (D.L. Butcher and C.L. Railton.) The original “Cave Surveying” was published in 1950 by the C.R.G. The authors have completely revised the text and included several recommendations assembled from a variety of sources. There are, however, several points that seem worthy of discussion. Without extending this review unnecessarily, these are as follow: 1. The requirement for a Grade 4 survey seems to be obsolete and in the view of the writer ought to be deleted from the C.R.G. Grading scheme. The spread of survey grades seems to ‘drag’ from 2 to 5. Grade 4 requires a prismatic compass and a tape or measuring cord. A surveyor usually thinks in terms of two basic kinds of survey (A) Low grade and (B) High grade. The ‘in between’ grades do not offer


completely either one or the other. The owner of a prismatic compass, clino, and fibreglass or steel tape need only spend a little time to calibrate the compass and his equipment is suitable for a Grade 5 survey. The increase in time over that required to take a hand held compass bearing accurately; read a clinometer etc. is negligible. If Grade 5 were minimum high grade demanded. Then far more reliable surveys would be produced. There are, however, many systems whose passage are very nearly horizontal especially in Yorkshire and South Wales, but clino readings here would be extremely useful for sharp rises (Pitches excluded) in the passage. All clinic readings under 3o may be ignored. My own suggested grades are: I. II. III. IV. V.

As C.R.G. Grades I and II. As C.R.G. III except prismatic (uncalibrated) or any other giving readings to within 5o. As C.R.G. Grade V (Hand held) As C.R.G. Grade VI (Tripod mounted) As C.R.G. Grade VII

2. Co-ordinates. All high grade surveys should be plotted by the use of co-ordinates. Not only does this produce a more accurate drawing but it enables the surveyor to plot his stations without the need of a drawing board or other specialised equipment. Although co-ordinates are mentioned, insufficient emphasis has been placed on their use. Finally – a good publication and a useful introduction to this interesting and important sideline of caving. It makes easy reading and illustrates the orthodox methods in a manner that will be clearly understood by everyone. (Vol 8. No.2. Offset litho – 37 pages – many illustrated. Cost to B.E.C. members 10/-).

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Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/22

B.E.C. Caving report No.12. “The Presentation of Cave Survey Data.” (S.J. Collins). (Price 5/-). A very interesting and exhaustive discussion on the various methods of presenting cave surveys. Not only does the author discuss the orthodox method, but he suggests the integrating of various schematic presentations with a view to replacing long descriptions found in caving reports. This will no doubt produce much discussion among surveyors for some time to come. A good buy for the private or club library. Liberally illustrated in colour. Dave Irwin. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Christmas Problem ……………..by “Sett.” A caver from Yorkshire had arranged to spend Christmas at the Belfry and had been given instructions to get him to Priddy Turning where he knew he could meet the B.E.C. by going straight on to the Hunters. Unfortunately, when he got off the bus, he couldn’t remember which way to go and the signpost was missing. However, he did remember that identical twins lived in the cottage nearby and that they would answer only one question. Furthermore, he remembered that one only told the truth and the other always lied. What question could the caver put to whichever twin answered the door to make sure he was directed to the right road?


There is a traditional answer to this question, which was circulated around the B.E.C. some years ago – and also a more recent answer. A pint to the first person who honestly has never heard the traditional answer and works it out. A further point to the first person who knows the traditional answer and works out the new one. _______________________________________________________________________________________

Training in Cave Science Surveying.

Several members have show interest in cave surveying, and expressed a desire to learn more about this side of caving. When I was starting to learn about Cave Surveying, I had to do it the hard way; making many mistakes and making a nuisance of myself to Bryan Ellis and other cave surveyors. Dave Irwin had the same difficulty. Now Dave Irwin had offered to run a course on cave surveying. In this course, Dave proposes to explain the aims, theory and practice of cave surveying, and candidates will have the opportunity to acquire and improve their proficiency in surveying and in the presentation of surveys. Chemical analysis of water samples. I would like to offer to train cavers in the techniques of water analysis – what it can be achieve, methods, and calculation and interpretation of results. Anyone interested should contact me, Roger Stenner, 38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3. _______________________________________________________________________________________ B.E.C. Report No.12.

The author of this report has just had a fault in the reproduction brought to his notice. The fault makes the section on the Severity Route Diagram unintelligible. Owners of this report are advised to get in touch with the author who will explain the fault.

Christmas 1966 B.B. 226/23

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Readers may be wondering where the Climbing news may be found in this B.B. We have not received much in the way of climbing trip descriptions – much in quantity, that is. What we have received, however, makes up in quality. Climbing Trip. 12 – 13th November, 1966. A very wet weekend in Wales Was partly spent soaking up ales. We sampled the charms Of the new Vaynol Arms, Then climbed at Tremadoc in gales

J.M. James. R.S. King.

If this sort of thing catches on, who knows what we shall get in the future? Perhaps we shall be sent “The Saga of Swildons Sixteen” (Starting….It was sweet sixteen, went from Priddy Green…?). Or possibly “The Chronicles of Cuthbert’s” or even “Bawdy Ballads from Banwell Bone cave” - Perhaps not! _______________________________________________________________________________________

I N D E X (Major articles are only listed below) The Gouffe de Fricuato Spelaeology in St. Cuthbert’s Caving in Switzerland Emergenct Food Easter 1966 Dan-yr-Ogof. Notes on the New Extensions Agen Allwedd

2 6 11 13 17 19 22


Towards a National Council? Mendip Rescue Organisation Caving Photography (1) Whitsun in Yorkshire Cave Photography (2) Raucher Week Do we want a New Belfry? British Spelaeological Association Conference 1966 Steepholme with the Other Club Four to Gaping Ghyll (1) Long Term Planning Report (1) B.E.C. Member’s Addresses Club trip to South Wales Cuthbert’s Rescue Caving in Southern Germany Variation in Temperature & Hardness in St. Cuthbert’s Club Officers., 1966 Annual General Meeting, 1966 Cuthbert’s Review Long Term Planning Report (2)

23 28 29 33 34 36 40 44 46 47 48 50 55 56 57 59 63 64 70 73

Annual Subs are due on the 31st January, but there is nothing in the club Constitution and Rules to prevent you PAYING EARLY. Just think – you could become a trend setter! _______________________________________________________________________________________ The Editor, having no item small enough to fill this space, and not liking the idea of just leaving it blank or filling it with some ornamental design has decided to use it to tell you that, having no item small enough to fill this space and not…

End of Volume XX

Belfry Bulletin Number 226  

Once again, the time has come round for a B.B. somewhat larger than usual. The Editor’s spy system – and no self respecting editor of a cavi...

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